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Only 17% of total MSMEs registered on new Udyam portal owned by women: Govt data

Only 17 percent of nearly 70 lakh MSME registrations on the new Udyam portal were of women-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, according to the official data.

As of February 2, 2022, 69,46,895 MSMEs had registered on the Udyam portal that was launched on July 1, 2020, after the government revised the MSME definition, as per the data shared by the MSME Minister Narayan Rane in Lok Sabha.

The number of women-led MSMEs registered on the Udyam portal stood at 11,99,989 as of February 2. 

<!--[if mso & !supportInlineShapes & supportFields]> SHAPE  \* MERGEFORMAT <![endif]--><!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if gte vml 1]> <![endif]--><!--[if mso & !supportInlineShapes & supportFields]> <![endif]-->Out of nearly 12 lakh women MSMEs, 97 percent registrations on the Udyam portal were of micro enterprises, while only 2.72 per cent were small businesses. The remaining 1,706 units were medium enterprises led by women with a share of only 0.14 percent.

In around 10 years, women MSMEs were able to increase their share in the country’s total MSME base, albeit by only 7 per cent. From 13.72 per cent in 2011, women MSMEs had a share of 20.37 per cent in 2020, as per the MSME Ministry’s annual reports for the year 2011-12 and 2020-21.

According to experts, among key reasons for the low share of women MSMEs have been arguably unconscious biases, challenges in accessing finance and building their own network, lack of safety in public spaces, at times lack of family support, lack of child-care options, low confidence in their own skills in business, etc.

For women MSMEs, the finance gap is worth USD 158 billion with 90 percent of such women entrepreneurs relying on informal sources of financing, according to Qamar Saleem, Regional Manager for Asia & Pacific, Financial Institutions Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC). Saleem  had said at the virtual Sankalp Global Summit last year.

Among key schemes for women entrepreneurs launched by the government in recent years was the Stand-Up India programme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 5, 2016.

The scheme enabled lenders to lend to at least one scheduled caste (SC) or scheduled tribe (ST) borrower and one-woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise in the manufacturing, services or trading sector.

According to the latest data from the scheme’s portal, over 1.50 lakh applications involving Rs 35,741 crore have been received so far, of which 1.32 lakh applications worth Rs 29,725 crore were sanctioned through 372 lenders.